ACT News

Malaysia, Finland, EU and Canada showcased at Windows to the World open day

There was food and fun aplenty at the opening weekend of Windows to the World.

Canberrans experienced cultures from all around the world on Saturday without having to leave the city, as embassies and high commissions flung open their doors to the public.

The Windows to the World first day proved popular as the event returned for the second year, with visitors able to get a taste of culture from Malaysia, Canada, the European Union and Finland. 

Malaysian High Commissioner Dato' Zainal Abidin Ahmad welcomes visitors.
Malaysian High Commissioner Dato' Zainal Abidin Ahmad welcomes visitors.  Photo: Rohan Thomson

The High Commission of Malaysia proved popular, with the aroma of delectable cuisine and the sound of traditional music attracting a large crowd. 

Malaysian High Commissioner Dato' Zainal Abidin Ahmad​ said the aim of the event was to promote the country to the Australian people.

A traditional wedding takes place at the Malaysian High Commission in Yarralumla.
A traditional wedding takes place at the Malaysian High Commission in Yarralumla.  Photo: Rohan Thomson

"Malaysia is a multicultural country; we have communities from Malay, China, India and many other ethnic groups," he said.

"Today we thought the best way [to show Australians our culture] is through food so we have lots of food stalls selling various food from various parts of Malaysia."

The event also showcased a typical Malaysian wedding, with a bride and groom surrounded by a colourful procession moving through the crowds.

The High Commissioner said Windows to the World was also a way of celebrating the anniversary of the High Commission, one of the oldest in Canberra.

"In two years' time in 2017 it will be 60 years since our establishment here. We thought this was the best opportunity to present ourselves to the Canberra community, and show our long establishment in the city," he said.

Canberran Camille Crowther and her boyfriend Glenn William enjoyed a Malaysian noodle dish at the busy festival.

"I brought my family along from Sydney, and this is my boyfriend from Melbourne. We've all come to see it," Ms Crowther said.

Mr William, who had visited Malaysia before, said it was nice to be reminded of the trip.

"The smell and everything does [remind me of Malaysia], and the market with a lot of people, it's very much like it,"  he said.

"But the promise of all the food sold it for me."

Over the coming weekends until October 11, a further 16 embassies and high commissions will host open days, plus many more will offer  special events requiring bookings.

As well as diverse cultures, Windows to the World opens the gates on the embassies' and high commissions' often beautiful landscaped gardens and superb architecture.

For information on events and tickets visit www.events.act.gov.au/windows.